Building a godly family – 2

February 22, 2012


Marriage and family are one of life’s greatest privileges and most amazing adventures designed by God. But the devil’s plan for a family is to make life miserable and destroy people by splitting them. A commitment to the Bible’s teachings and principles is the only hope for the recovery of family life.

HF: Today we are going to continue our study on building a godly family.

Last week we saw that the only solution for having a happy and strong family life is God. We saw the example of the family of Aquilla and Priscilla.

  1. A godly family is a saved family.
  2. A godly family is a serving family.
  3. A godly family is a worshipping family. Let’s continue.

Proverbs 14:26  ”Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children, it will be a refuge.”

The Bible portrays the family as a fortress. The only way Christian families can be safe in the fortress of the family is when the family members live in the fear of the Lord.

A fortress has a boundary and it is the responsibility of the people living inside of it to safeguard its boundary. To guard the borders of our country, takes the gatekeepers, the soldiers, the army, the navy, and intelligence, all to work together to keep intruders out. As a family you are building a wall, you are protecting your marriage, your kids, and all that God has given you. Remember that Satan is an intruder waiting to attack Christian families and it takes the husband, wife, and children to work together in the fear of the Lord to safeguard your family. So everyone has a responsibility and a role in the family. Only when we fulfil our God-given roles in the family can our family be safe and protected.

1. A godly family fulfils its God-given roles.

See what God spoke to Abraham regarding his family.

Genesis 18:18-19 18 ”Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

Listen, God is speaking about Abraham, that God himself has chosen him and given him promises. However, in order for God’s promises to be fulfilled Abraham will have to direct his children and his household (those who dwell under the same roof,i.e., his wife, children, in-laws etc) in fulfilling what God has asked them to do. Abraham has a role as a father to lead his family and the family has to obey him.

Therefore, it takes complete obedience of the family under the leadership of the father or husband to fulfill God’s promises for the family.

A family constitutes of husband, wife, father, mother, children, grandparents, in-laws etc. God has specific roles laid out for every member in a family.

Role of the family members.

Today we will look at the role of the father, mother, and children. Next Sunday we will look at the role of the husband and wife.

1. Parents – Father & Mother.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “father” as “a man who has begotten a child.”

Websters dictionary defines the word “mother” as “a woman who has begotten a child.”

Therefore, the father and mother have equal responsibility in raising their child.

Parents, here are some things we need to know about our children.

1. Children are God’s possession.

Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the Lord.

The term heritage means property or possession. It refers to the ancestral property that we inherit. It is not our own but inherited from our father. Children are the Lord’s possession, the Lord’s property. God assigns them to be grown under the parents’ care. Hence, your child belongs to God and you are just a caretaker.

2. Children are a reward.

Psalm 127:3b  Offspring a reward from him.

Reward means – of appreciation, of pleasure, of joy.

Children are never to be viewed as a sign of God’s displeasure or His punishment for sin. The fruit of the womb is the trophy of God’s love. Wise parents and grandparents take pleasure in children. That is why children bring joy into our lives. A world without children would be a dull world. Their zest, their laughter, their excitement, their unique way of viewing things adds to the fullness of life to the parents.

Since children are God’s possession and reward given by God, parents do not have the right to do whatever you want to do with your children. God has a plan and you need to bring up your child in God’s plan.

Parents also do not have any right over the life of your child. You cannot kill an unborn life from the womb. Abortion is murder, God hates it. From God’s point-of-view there is no such thing as an “accidental birth” or a “surprise pregnancy” or an “unwanted child.” Each one belongs to Him and is assigned rightly by Him to the parents.

3. Children require direction.

Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.

Imagine a warrior in the battlefield. He has bow and arrow supplied to him by the king but it is up to the soldier to direct the arrow toward the target.

Children are like arrows. A child, like an arrow, is incapable of directing himself. It is the basic responsibility of parents to direct the lives of their children.

Parental Responsibilities

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Now, Paul in the letter to the Ephesians addresses only to the fathers. Why does the Bible address only the fathers and not the mothers?

In Paul’s day, especially among non-Christian and non-Jewish households the father was like a dictator. He had the choice of which child to love and which child to ignore. Under Roman law, a father had the power of life and death over his children. When a child was born it was placed at its father’s feet. If the man picked the newborn baby up, it would be accepted into the household. If he turned and walked away, it was disposed of in much the same way as aborted children are today. In the first century, the father made the decision and the mother had no say. Therefore whatever Paul wanted to instruct the parents he addressed to the fathers, keeping in mind the society then.

In today’s context, the Bible holds both the father and mother responsible for raising your children.

1. Nurture your children

Provide for your children, save for your children. Protect them, love them. Make your house a safe environment for your children. Do not make your house a war zone.


We know in Egypt Pharaoh issued an edict that all Israelite baby boys should be killed or thrown into the river Nile. The law was against boy children. There was no hope for the Israelites. Moses’ family hid him for 3 months and finally, the child survived.

Parents, the world may be corrupt, and the devil may be after our child but if you are godly you can safeguard your children from any schemes of the devil because God is with you.

2. Do not exasperate or embitter your children

Exasperate – to make your children very angry or to annoy them greatly.

Embitter – to continue to make your children angry over an extended period of time.


Tom was just 12 when the Scouts troop planned a family campout. Tom was thrilled and could hardly wait to rush home to invite his parents. Tom wanted so much to show them all he had learned in scouting, and he was so proud when they said they would go with him.

When the Friday of the camp finally came, Tom was ready, put everything in his bag, kept it out on the porch, ready to stuff it in dad’s car the moment he arrived from work. When he looked back mom was still not ready and he shouted, “Mummy we are getting late, get ready. We need to go as soon as daddy arrives.” They were supposed to meet at the school at 5 pm to go to the campsite with other friends.

Dad did not turn up on time and Tom was pacing up and down the gate of his house. When dad finally came it was 7 pm, Tom knew it was too late and kept quiet. Dad explained how things had gone wrong at work and told Tom not to worry and said, “Tom, I am tired and we will get up first thing in the morning and join the others.” Tom was disappointed but hoped for the next morning.

First thing in the morning, Tom was up and had everything in the car while it was still dark. Not finding dad he knocked on dad’s room. Dad said they would leave around 7 am but dad never came out of his room until 9 am.

When finally dad came out saw he said, “Tom I am tired. I hope you understand me now that you are a ‘big boy,’ let’s go for the next camp.” Tom was heartbroken but kept quiet. Soon dad went inside put his golf clothes in, took his golf clubs and stuffed it in the car and went golfing to keep his commitment to his friends.

That is when Tom realized that dad and mom never wanted to go with him to the campsite but for dad, golf was more important and for mom off on Saturday was more important than Tom.

Parents do not embitter their children. Do not bully your children. Do not rebuke your children publicly. When you promise them something and deny them, you are making them bitter. Your words are like God’s words for them. Do not promise if you cannot keep up with the promise.

3. Discipline your children

Hebrews 12:9-10 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.

Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.

Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.

Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.

Discipline your children in the Lord. Discipline your children in moral values. Now the method you use to discipline is left to you but we need to discipline our children.

4. Pray for your children

Pray that your children receive Jesus Christ. Pray that they grow in love, honesty, integrity, purity, mercy etc.

David prayed for Solomon. 1 Chronicles 29:18-19 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.

5. Teach children the Word of God

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Teach your children about Jesus, teach them faith, and the Word of God.

6. Parents be good role models

We as children are just the examples of our parents. They way you react to your circumstances are just the way your parents reacted to their circumstances. Always know your children are watching you and you need be good role models to your kids.

2 Chronicles 26:3-4 3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother’s name was Jekoliah; she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done.

You provide your child an example, an identity, moral and social values. Spend time with your children, let them see godly example in you.

Survey: Dads spend 8 minutes a day talking to their children. Working mothers spend 11 minutes a day. Stay-at-home moms spend less than 30 minutes a day on average.

Spend time with them, coach them, play with them, and have fun with them. Mould them up in the values of God. If you do not spend time with your children, they will get on what family values are and morality is from their friends outside.

Responsibilities of children

Note: A majority of us sitting here have our earthly parents present. Even if your earthly parents are no more we are all still the children of our heavenly father.

Looking at what the Bible says about children to the parents we too can get some input on the role of children towards their parents.

Psalm 127:3-7 3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

1. Children are under the parent’s authority

Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.

God has placed this authority. You have to respect that authority. Since God has put you under your parents it is a sin against God when you rebel against your parents.

2. Children obey/honour your parents

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Proverbs 3:11-12 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Ephesians 6:2-3 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise. 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Joke: A father had won a toy at an office game. He called his three kids together to ask which one should have the present. “Who is the most obedient?” he asked. The children all stared back at him in silence. Then he asked, “Who never talks back to mother?” Again the kids appeared to be mystified by the question. Then the father asked, “Who does everything she says?” With that question, the kids were finally able to come to a conclusion. The three small voices answered in unison, “Okay, dad, you get the toy.”

As children you are to obey your parents, this is the command of God. When you obey your parents you are fulfilling the command of honouring your parents.

Example: When your parents tell you do not go with that friend, do not go out after it is dark, do not wear that dress. Just obey them, it is for your good.

As Adults children don’t stop being children just because they are grown up. Parents still have a responsibility to love and support them. Children still have the responsibility to obey their parents. Remember when disobeying your parents or fool your parents you are in turn disobeying God.

Children, can you fool your parents? Yes very much.

Boys, you can tell them that you are talking to your boy classmate whereas you would have talked to a girl. You can save your boyfriend/girlfriend’s name in some other name and when your parents check your phone they can be fooled. You can bunk you class and tell you went to college. You can tell you are coming to church but go elsewhere.

Remember, When you fool your parents you are fooling God. You must obey your parents in all things. Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Children are to obey your parents even when you do not like it. When you obey/honour your parents. You will be well or happy in your life. You will have long life.

3. Children are to provide for your needy parents

1 Timothy 5:4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to practice their religion toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.

Children you have a responsibility to take care of your parents especially when they are old, when they are hospitalized it is your responsibility.


A godly family is a family who fulfils its God given roles. Many of you sitting here are parents others are children. How is your family today? Is your family a palace of joy or a prison of conflict and confusion? God is interested in making your family a happy home, but for that God wants you to fulfill your role in the family. Let’s pray.